Vodafone hailed its best-ever quarter for customer growth in high-speed broadband in Europe, as its CEO admitted the operator had more to learn about its emerging consumer IoT play.

Like-for-like service revenues rose 0.3 percent year-on-year to €7.65 billion in Europe during the three months to 31 December, which Vodafone put down to growth of 4.4 percent in fixed-line sales.

Italy was the star performer in this regard, with the addition of 95,000 broadband subscribers pushing fixed service revenues at the opco up 12 percent.

Germany and Spain also performed well, adding 89,000 and 68,000 broadband customers respectively.

As a result, fixed-line service revenues jumped up 3.5 percent in Germany, where the company is spending €2 billion on upgrading its broadband network in the country over the next four years.

In Spain, Vodafone talked up the addition of 45,000 converged customers, of which there are now 2.5 million in total. Converged customers make up 59 percent of all consumer revenues in the opco.

The UK added 39,000 broadband customers, taking its subscriber base to 316,000, but fixed-line service revenues dipped 3.6 percent on account of enterprise customer losses in previous quarters.

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Overall, Vodafone now has 14.2 million broadband customers in Europe, up 1.2 million over the last 12 months.

On the mobile front, service revenues fell 1.3 percent on the continent as growth in Germany was offset by falls in Italy and the UK.

The company said 11.2 million customers had signed up to its Passes, which allow customers unlimited data for content such as chat, music, social and video services.

In addition, its 4G subscriber base passed through the 100 million barrier for the first time.

Outside of Europe, Vodafone saw service revenues grow 6.8 percent to €2.34 billion.

Across the group, enterprise service revenues ticked up 0.4 percent to €2.99 billion, while sales from IoT services grew by €17 million to €187 million.

CEO Vittorio Colao said it was still “very early days” for the company’s new consumer IoT play, V for Vodafone, which launched in four European markets last November.

However, he noted that the bag and pet trackers were performing better than the car and security camera products, partly due to pricing.

The company is “still learning” but was keen to expand its offering, Colao said.

As usual, Vodafone did not report any profitability measures for the quarter.

Reported revenues fell 3.6 percent to €11.8 billion on account of the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands results, following the merger with Ziggo, and negative forex movements.

“Overall, this consistent performance underpins our confidence that we will meet our guidance for the full year," Colao said.

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